The Italian Position on the Ratification and the Implementation Prospects of the Protocol of the 1991 Alpine Convention in the Field of Transport


Italy was the last among the countries concerned to ratify the Protocol on the Implementation of the 1991 Alpine Convention in the Field of Transport (Law no. 196 of 2012, deposited in Vienna on 7 February 2013) but it contextually adopted and filed an interpretative declaration which prompted the apprehension of the Austrian and German authorities as to whether this amounted to a formal reservation by Italy, and cast doubts on Italy’s real intention to implement the Protocol. Following up on the objections raised by Austria and Germany, the Undersecretary of State for infrastructures and transport, Mr. Rocco Girlanda, clarifies the Italian position on this issue in the following terms:

In sending out the [two] notes verbales [to the Austrian and German embassies] Italy confirmed its will to give effect to the Protocol and made clear that the interpretative declaration concerning the possibility of carrying out large capacity road projects on the Italian territory is not in contradiction with Article 11 of the Protocol, but it only takes into account the geography of our country.


I must point out, moreover, that in parallel to the transmission of that response, on 3 February 2014 we received a statement in which Austria, […] confirms to have taken note that with the first sentence of its declaration, Italy does not intend to exclude or modify the legal effects of the contractual provisions of the Protocol; Italy rather considers its declaration in line with the wording of Article 11, which allows such possibility in relation to intra-Alpine transport, but not with regard to transalpine transport. On the basis of these explanations Austria agrees that the full validity of the basic provision of the Protocol, Article 11, paragraph 1, is not affected by the Italian interpretative declaration.
In the last part of its note verbale, Austria also states that, following this interpretation, its statement, should be regarded as a simple objection that does not impede the full entry into force of the Protocol between the two countries.

The Italian version of the statement can be found at:

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